Mr. Surly goes to Oregon

If you read in an earlier blog post about my budget brevet bike project, well, this is the first real event for that bike along with a brief phot0 essay about the ride. I like doing rides in Oregon; almost anywhere I go there is new country to see and new people to ride with. It doesn’t hurt to have a little good weather either.

A Gloomy Start

About 3 dozen riders gathered at what looked to be a pretty gloomy start of the day. The forecast had the chance of rain increasing to 50% and in Oregon that means you are going to get wet. Local riders are not phased with the threat of rain though and had come well prepared. Real rain gear, booties, fenders and mud flaps are the norm. An hour later the rain began.

Maggies Buns

You’ve got to love a coffee shop/bakery with a name like Maggie’s Buns. This was our first control at mile 30 or so and offered a great place to warm up with a hot coffee.

You always see a lot of top quality bikes at rides in Oregon. The bike to my right is a beautiful custom Ahearne built for brevets. If you order one today you can take delivery in 3 years!

The rain continues

Well, I’ll call it rain even if locals dont. Water falling from the sky, water sheeting on the road, water spraying up from the tires, water dripping from my helmet. Do you detect a theme here?

The Surly is riding well though and with good fender coverage I am staying pretty dry. With a new bike there are always some issues but outside of some small adjustments I am happy with it.

Warming up a little

In the second half of the ride the rain let up and the sky brightened up a little. I was able to shed my rain gear and enjoy the 50 degree temperatures. The winds were light all day but always in your face. This was confirmed by waving flags and smoke from fires. Each time you would turn a corner it was the same, wind in your face. Oddly, it’s just like Utah in that regard.

The end result

It was a good day on the bike and considering that it was February I think the weather was pretty good. I finished the ride in just over 10 hours and with a few bonus miles it totaled out to be 128 miles (204k). Rain rides are a little slower since you have to fiddle with gear more and have more things to tend to.

The bike was flawless in spite of the gooey conditions. I guess new parts will be like that but they are not new anymore. It should clean up well and with some basic maintenance it will be ready to go again for the next event. As far as how the bike rides, I enjoyed it quite a bit. It is smooth and efficient, it handles well and is properly equipped for brevet riding. The only thing it is lacking is the cache’ of a boutique builder nameplate!